Hello. I am Pastor Eric Célérier. Thank you for your interest in HelloBible.
This page aims at making you discover the backstage of the HelloBible project: its history, its vision, how it works, etc...
The concept of HelloBible was born in my heart over 15 years ago. At the time, I imagined a conversational agent that would allow you to ask questions to the Bible. I called it VIP for "Virtual Intelligent Paul".
Muriel, my wife, even found an email I sent in 2010 to our technical team to tell them about "an old dream". Imagine : HelloBible was already an old dream in 2010...
The grain must die and remain alone said Jesus. "Virtual Intelligent Paul" was dead and buried but now... technology has caught up with the vision. If the seed dies, it can bear much fruit, said the Lord... (John 12.24)
In February 2023, taking advantage of a week's vacation in the mountains, my brain was able to get away from the daily routine and my daily activities. All of a sudden I had the click and I called out to my wife as follows: Muriel, I just found out how to develop "that thing", Virtual Intelligent Paul, that I told you about so many years ago! This is going to be amazing!
The first day God created light and then he did everything in 6 days. So I was challenged by our Creator... I thought, why not try to create HelloBible in 6 days too? So I took 6 days to develop the prototype of this tool that you are now discovering. Each day, I made a major breakthrough. And on the 7th day I rested, literally. My rest day was Saturday, February 11, 2023.
Then the following weeks allowed me to "refine" the concept.
We went into Beta testing on April 1, 2023.
I have always tried to use technology to advance the Kingdom of God and to help people to know Jesus. That's why I created my first website in 1997 to present the church we were planting in South of France, then the portal TopChrétien in 1999, then the evangelistic website ConnaitreDieu.com in 2005, then Jesus.net in 2009 without forgetting Un Miracle Chaque Jour in 2015.
As I love the Bible and I have been reading and studying it almost every day for many years, it has always been natural for me to try to apply new technologies to the Bible.
I admire those who, through the centuries or more recently, have innovated to better present the Word of God.
Guttemberg of course who chose the Bible to print his first book. What a brilliant idea!
Bill Bright who produced the movie Jesus. This film has reached billions of people.
Billy Graham with his giant evangelistic campaigns and his favorite expression: "The Bible says...".
Bobby Gruenewald who came up with YouVersion, the Bible in an app. Already over 500 million downloads.
I've noticed that every time you apply a new technology to the Bible, you allow more people to connect with its message. Of course, there are always naysayers who preferred the "good old days" and don't like the image of Jesus, etc. But no matter, Christ is still being proclaimed. I rejoice and will rejoice again. (Philippians 1.18 )
So I decided to try to use advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to help people better understand the Bible and apply it to their lives. I believe that this will help many people understand that the Word of God answers their problems. The goal is not the technology itself but to use the technology to make the Bible and the teachings of Jesus come alive for those who connect with it.
I have also noticed that it is really hard for a person to find someone who knows enough about the Bible to answer their questions or needs. Just so you know, I didn't design HelloBible to replace a human but to precede or complement one. I see HelloBible as a connection point.
How does it work?
A friend of mine asked me: Eric, did you hire a developer or an IT company to create HelloBible? This made me smile. I said, "No, not at all. I did it by myself, God really inspired me. And I give God the glory for that.
Let me tell you how it works...
First of all I had to connect different tools together. Actually HelloBible uses 5 different tools to ask, understand and answer the question. There is, for example, the website, the tool that asks the question in the form of a chat, the Artificial Intelligence that answers the question, the system that sends the answer by e-mail, etc. If you'd like to find out more about using Artificial Intelligence, take a look at our white paper.
We had to find the right parameters for the AI. These parameters are called prompts. This was the subject of thousands of tests. A lot of work, but it finally paid off. Some people are afraid of Artificial Intelligence and I understand that. But the way I set up the AI greatly limits the risk since it can only draw from biblical resources. However, if error is human, it is also possible with the answers we send. That is why we suggest that each person rate the answer received with a score from 0 to 5 in order to try to improve if we make a mistake in an answer.
The 5 platforms we use for HelloBible have a cost. Some have a fixed cost but most have a cost for each use.
Thus, we can estimate that each question to HelloBible generates an expense of about 1 cent. This does not seem high but when you multiply this 1 cent by the potential number of users, you can quickly arrive at a cost of thousands of dollars per month, or even more.
I am a strong advocate of free access to the Bible. I believe in this verse that says: "You have received freely, give freely. (Matthew 10:8)
But I also believe that everything we have been able to develop and offer for so many years has only been possible thanks to the generosity of people, like you, who give so that tools like HelloBible can be created and offered for free. In fact, if you want HelloBible to see the light of day and reach a large audience, you can make a donation here.
HelloBible exists for the glory of God and to bless you! This is, I believe, the beginning of an adventure that will help millions of people with the Word of God. These people will really say: the Bible is alive! This is my wish and my prayer.
I wish you a good use of HelloBible. Don't hesitate, ask all the questions you want. I hope you will find in the answers, an enlightenment or even a Word of God for you.
Under each answer a small questionnaire is proposed. Thank you for answering it. It will help us to improve this tool.
I have started to recruit a team to develop HelloBible and the first people are computer engineers, based in Madagascar. I hope we will make it an app, add features, make it multilingual and promote this tool all over the world. And I know that when God gives the vision he also gives the provision. Please pray for me and for the small team that is forming behind the project. May the Lord lead us in all things, for His glory alone!
Thank you for your thoughtful reading.